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Aptem Employ: Three predictions for employability in 2021

Hand touching pass thru infographic to 2021 year with blue bokeh and dark background. New year change concept.

2020 was a year filled with unprecedented disruption. Globally, remote working became increasingly normal, enacting a digital transformation that looks set to create long-term changes to the world of work that are likely to remain throughout 2021 and beyond.

The employability sector was particularly affected by the challenges of 2020, with mass unemployment, high rates of redundancies and the decimation of industries occurring at alarmingly high rates.

As we move into the new year, with the hope of recovery on the horizon, it is time to ask: what is the future of employability? Here are three predictions for how the employability will recover and evolve.

Future technology

Emergent technologies can offer significant benefits to the employability sector, meaning job coaches can get the efficient support they need to help jobseekers back to work.

Technologies such as natural language processing could be utilised to help identify patterns in jobseeker profiles which are typically written in rich text, revealing patterns or even emotional responses. Doing this at scale could offer insights that allow for more effective interventions.

As society has moved online, virtual reality (VR) has become more prevalent. VR can offer jobseekers the ability to complete soft-skills training without the need for significant work coach input, freeing up time for coaches and encouraging more autonomy in those looking for work.

This technology could also be used for remote onboarding and ongoing training, which could help streamline the process for onboarding work coaches at scale.


Personalisation is the ultimate goal of employability, as it is understood to be the most effective way of getting individuals back to work, particularly if they have additional needs.

Through technology, job coaches can create and analyse personalised employment plans which will increase the effectiveness of employability support.

Nudge technology is another way in which personalisation can be delivered. Work coaches can programme carefully selected nudges for their jobseekers, which can encourage deeper commitment to employment related tasks. 

When personalisation is integrated into a package of support, jobseekers are more likely to feel as if their needs are being met, leading to a higher chance of finding relevant and sustainable employment.

Big data

There is more data than ever available to employability providers which, when used effectively, can provide insights that support the provision of better service.

The use of big data can assist with case management by providing work coaches with insights about what works for their jobseekers. It can highlight any patterns and trends across their caseload and, when used alongside personalisation, ensures that each jobseeker is getting the right service to help them succeed. 

From a provider perspective, data can facilitate more impactful business decisions, from performance management to deciding which part of the work coach/jobseeker journey should be supported with digital solutions.

For more insights about the role of technology in employability solutions, download our whitepaper: ‘Technology: the missing link in effective employability solutions‘.

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